Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats


in the Seventh Century B.C.* The object of education, according
to the writer, is to make men wise by training them from child-
hood to know and to keep the Law of Moses, and by basing their
zeal for the Law pn a knowledge of the national history. " When
thy son asketh thee in time to conic, saying, What mean the
testimonies and the statutes and the judgments which the Lord
our God hath commanded you ? then thou shalt say unto thy
son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt* .  ." The Law is
to be shown worthy of obedience because it is the Law of the (Jotl
who brought His people out of bondage into a goodly land. Fur-
ther, the responsibility for this education is laid definitely on the
father. It is in the family and not in a school that the. child is to
be educated. This is brought out clearly in the passage called the
Shema, the well-known verses in the sixth chapter which the
faithful Jew recites every day: "Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord our
God is one Lord ; and thou shalt love the Lord thy (Jotl with all
thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might. And
these words which I command thee this day .shall be upon thy
heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children* and
shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house and when thoti
walkest by the way,*'

Jewish history entered on a new phase in the Sixth Century iu?
The ten tribes of Israel had been completely absorbed by Assyria
at the end of the Eighth Century, but Judah in the security of her
more isolated position in the south, maintained her national
existence for a century longer. Then in her turn she was con-
quered by Babylon, and the Jews finally ceased tt> be a nation,
But the religious revival of the Seventh Century saved judah
from the fate of Israel. The chief people were carried oil1 to Haby-
lon, and remained there for fifty years till the conquest of Babylon
by the Persians made it possible for the exiles to return home, in
the meantime a great change of momentous consequence for the
world had come over the spirit of the people. A world religion,
that had its first expression in the noble prophecies uf the un-
known prophet who is sometimes called the Second iaauth, had
been born. This, however, was not realised by the Jews them-
selves* The immediate result was to produce a more intense
nationalism. The temple was rebuilt, and a new movement for
the stricter observance of the law, especially the priestly Juw, wua

* See especially chaps, iv, 9;  vi, 7, ao;  ix, 19 ; auuti, 13 ;  **** 46.